Made 40 calls, helped get supper, sour crout and hash, dressed, taught evening school and afterward went to hear opera Tales of Hoffman by Opera [???] Co. Met Ruby in our seats. Very cold, near zero again.
Tuesday, Dec. 2
Heard same company sing "La Boheme".
Wed. Dec. 3
After evening school, worked for a time cutting up fruit for fruit cakes.
Thurs. Dec. 4
Went with Ruby to Lodge supper, and saw a Jackson team put on 3rd degree, second section.
Fri. Dec. 5
Went to a stage play, "The Chinese Bungalow" at the Gladmer. We bought $1 seats but moved up into $2 seats after first act.
Sat. Dec. 6
Intended to cut wood today but too rainy. Have been cutting fruit and getting ready to make up a 10# recipe of fruit cake. Shopped downtown till noon. At night went to Marklewitzes for dinner and bridge after. Mr. & Mrs. John (& Helen) Scheurer, Antoinette Kull and Marie Collister were there, first time we had met the last named. The supper was superb and bountiful, beautifully served, and the party afterward one of the jolliest and best I've attended in years. The best time I've had in years. We must have a bigger house & some nice things for it at once so we can give a party too, for this place is outgrown for good.
Sun. Dec. 7
Rose late, finished work on the fruit cake and baked it/them. It filled two pans, and when cut up made seven cakes, somewhat larger than those of pound size sold for $1 in the bakeries. Put it away, wrapped in wax paper, in a lard can to ripen. Filed my bucksaw and sharpened the light axe, ready to cut wood first favorable day. Used the last of our crout today.
Mon. Dec. 8
Very heavy day; 46 calls besides those at the schools. Received (late last night) some venison from Dad Chase. Cut it off the bones, and after trimming all waste, the lean meat was enough to fill 4 quart cans, leave two pounds or so to eat, a little for Callahans, and bones, etc. enough for a batch of soup. The meat is now in process in the pressure cooker. Later Ruby pronounced it a very easy way to can, despite her prejudice against the cooker. John cut his third tooth tonight.
Tues. Dec. 9
Fair & warm. I hurried home, changed my clothes, and got to work on the hole under the porch again. Bought some cabbages for another batch of crout, 1 1/2 bushels at 70c per, $1.05. In the evening, made crout, a 4-gal. jar full to the top. It took less than a bushel of the cabbages this time as they were firmer than before. It took a half bushel plus 3 cabbages, exactly. I used 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls of salt to a head averaging about 2 or 3 lb. each.
Weds. Dec. 10
Took John to Dr. for first injection of diphtheria toxin antitoxin treatment. He is always delighted to go for a ride in the car, and also likes to be out-of-doors, giving squeals of joy every time we step outside with him. He takes a nap outdoors every day.
Worked under the porch, starting to haul out the lower end of the "ramp" up which I have wheeled all the dirt out of the hole.
Thurs. Dec 11
Took Ruby down shopping & took John with me on my calls, sound asleep most of the time in back seat. He had been a little ill this P.M., probably from his serum treatment. Dug in the hole a couple of hours. Went to lodge regular meeting and election of officers.
Fri. Dec. 12
Did a little more work in the hole this evening but got a late start & had to stop because we're going to a surprise birthday party for Dick Mark's. Bought a jack-screw, 16 tons capacity today, and a new handle & lock for the garage door, and a countersinking tool.
Sat. Dec. 13
Ruby and Jane went downtown to shop & see a show, leaving John in my care from 10am until 4:00. He woke up at 12:00 and fretted or howled the whole rest of the time. I fed him & got my own dinner between 1:30 & 3:00 & he got my capri with his howling. Despite it I finished the excavation under the porch to the last shovelful, which I began on Oct. 30. It took most of my spare time for 45 days, but it is apparent there has been time for a good many other things when one glances back through the pages of this diary.
Started tearing out the fruit cellar.
Sun. Dec. 14
Finished removal of the old fruit cellar, pulled nails out of the boards, and cleaned up the mess, putting everything away neatly.
Worked on a sled I have had partly made since last spring, a big one for hauling wood, etc.
Mon., Dec. 15
Fixed up the Xmas tree, putting it in a bucket so it can have water. Jacked up the house so it stands 3/16 or 1/8" off the wall in center of the basement, north end, getting ready to remove the wall. Taught evening school.
Tues. Dec. 16
John received his second Diphtheria anti-toxin & accompanied me on all my round this P.M. A long list, took me till 5:00, but there were 2 or 3 personal calls. Rec'd & set up a rocking horse for John, but it was a diddling little no account thing, & we are sending it back.
Weds. Dec. 17
Taught evg. school and met Ruby at Halls for club party. Rather short Xmas party, no bridge at all. I got a 3 yr. calendar and a deck of cards for presents, and won a package of tree tinsel for a stunt.
Thurs. Dec. 18
Started repairing the garage small door lock, and put the new lock on the kitchen door, using old one on garage door. Went to lodge, installation of officers, Geo. Tibbits, retiring W.M., Chas. Sherman for 1931.
Fri. Dec. 19
Cleaned up outdoors to make the front yard look better, helped Ruby a while in the kitchen, put a new lock on the garage door, but it latches the wrong way.
Sat. Dec. 20
Got up late, went to bed early, and did very little during the time I was in circulation. Made my reports for yesterday's work, went shopping. The traffic is terrible, worst I ever saw. No parking places to be had north of Hillsdale on either Grand or Washington, but I was able to park, after I thought of it, on the Board of Education lot.
Posted 74 recipes on ordinary writing paper cards, 3x5, and filed them in my card box, after indexing each card.
Sun. Dec. 21
Sat around almost all day doing nothing, bored to agony. In the morning finished building my big freight sled, in evening Carroll & Laila came down & played 3 games. For once I had the high score.
Mon. Dec. 22
Stirred up a batch of lebkuchen, using the recipe Ethel Markowitz gave me yesterday by phone. Had to make a trip downtown first to get some needed materials and to mail some packages & letters which I helped Ruby prepare last night. At 2:00 got Ed Fiske and attended a hearing on Milton Griswold & Kenneth Carpenter in probate court. When I went back to the car the starter went wrong. I started motor with crank, but squeaks & screams from the crankcase told that a bolt was in the housing. I called AAA towing truck, who took me to Blandings. After starter was fixed the bolt had fallen into bottom of housing and no longer bothered, so left it there. At night took John to Dr. McCrum for 3rd shot, and took family to see Xmas trees on Reform School lawn & M.S.C. campus. Took a present to Dickinsons, made a call & came home to prepare more Xmas cards for mailing. Worked on more cookies after coming back. Now have lebkuchen stirred up, also German Christmas cookies, knapp kuchen, and pffefferneusse, no nearly ready to bake as can be done today. The first and last must stand overnight.
Tues. Dec 23
Helped Ruby mail Xmas cards till noon, helped get dinner, went down town with Jane to a show "Tom Sawyer" with Jackie Coogan in the title role, did some shopping, came home & baked cookies. I rolled them out & Ruby baked. We made all but the knapp kuchen. Gave them up as others made so many. We had 21 dozen besides all we ate. We frosted the pfefferneusse & put a nut on the lebkuchen, or on about half of them. John's fourth tooth appeared today.
Weds. Dec 24
Finished reading Merriam, John C. "The Living Past", stressing two rather remarkable discoveries, one a rock impression of a gingko leaf with the leaf still present in the impression. Another was the discovery of a 90 foot "well" in a cave where an ancient Indian legend had said it existed; and the skeleton of an Indian maiden which the legend told had fallen there. Bones of extinct animals were also present.
Helped around the house a bit, put away our lard can, four fifths full of cookies, walked down town to get a little exercise, did a bit of shopping and shipped a sled to Myrtle's youngsters for Dad Chase, who had stored it here. We opened a couple of our presents each, detailed list tomorrow.
Thurs. Dec. 25
Christmas, my 39th. In the morning we opened presents. I received handkerchiefs from Jane, Beems, Jan & Joyce, socks from Darons and Mother Van; from Ruby silk underwear, a book filled with snapshots of my trip last summer, a suit of pajamas is soon to come, a pocketbook, pin seal with billfold may properly be regarded as a Xmas present though she gave it on Thanksgiving, and as I was disappointed at not getting a pedometer, she ordered one for me during the day. She thus lavished a very elaborate Xmas on me, and I mustn't fail to give her some pretty things for herself, as everything I got for her except her slippers was for the house and my gifts were all personal ones.
After opening gifts, began tearing out wall in N. end of cellar. Tore out a big hole 10 ft wide at top coming down to 16 inches from the floor. About six P.M. cleaned up, and we had lunch & evening together. The wall was hard on hands. They are both tired and banged up tonight.
Fri. Dec. 26
Received 1 1/2 bbl of cement and a yard of gravel, put in the footings for the walls in new basement, fed John, washed dishes and spent the evening clipping and filing recipes.
Sat. Dec. 27
Spent the whole day helping Ruby, cleaning the main floor rooms ready for a party tonight, moving furniture, getting meals, washing dishes, taking bath, etc. In evening entertained Halls, Marklewitz's & Pancosts, the original bunch out of which grew our club, for Bohemian dinner and bridge. This is the nearest to being cleaned up this house has been for almost a year. The attic & basement are still very dirty and cluttered. To bed at 1:35 am.
Sun. Dec. 28
All in from the party. Read R.F. Griggs, "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes" and acquired a strong desire to go there & see it some time soon. In PM took a walk to corner of Fairview and Grand River.
Mon. Dec. 29
Attended hearing on Ida Hartman case. Bought Ruby a pair of Kayser Silk Hose for a present; did some other shopping, clipped 140 recipes from old papers & put part on cards. Got some books on houses, building and furnishing.
Tues. Dec. 30
Finally got a line run and laid five cement blocks of new wall. Found I had placed footings too low and had to build up 2 or 3 in. with cement, but laid the first ones despite everything. A letter from Dad and Mother [Reed] states they are coming Friday for a few days. Ruby received and presented me a pedometer as an additional Xmas present.
Wed. Dec. 31
Went to New Year's Ball at Masonic Temple, no dinner, just dancing 9 to 1 AM. Came home tired and footsore but had a good time.